Monday, September 22, 2008

A Resounding Bottom Up NO on the Bailout-- From the Entire Progressive World

Rob Kall gives a roundup of thoughts from the mainstream left on the bailout. If anything, it shows that there are few differences among most of us when it comes to this issue of corporate and government fraud. How we fix it is another story. Artist: Helen Bascom

By Rob Kall

It is urgent and essential that YOU contact your legislators in congress today to demand that they reject the bailout deal Henry Paulson has proposed. Let them know approval of it will be as bad as, maybe worse than their approval of the Iraq war and you don't want to see them screw up again.

They need to hear this from MILLIONS of Americans. A handful of plutocratic corporatists created this economic disaster. The Dem leadership seems to be ready to allow Bush to turn a disaster into law and furtherance of the disaster capitalism Naomi Klein has described. It will take a massive bottom up wave of outraged demands to make it clear to the dems in congress and the purported new leader of the Democratic party, Barack Obama, that the Paulson plan has been outed as a plan to loot the American taxpayer and is totally unacceptable.

From Dailykos to Firedoglake to OpEdNews, TalkingPointsMemo to Paul Krugman (No deal) , Glen Greenwald, the Nation, MYDD, Atrios, Huffingtonpost, the voices of the left, representing millions, probably tens of millions of readers, are in agreement-- Paulson's bailout proposal is NO DEAL and the frightened Democrats in congress better not spinelessly respond to the bogus warnings of disaster this time like they did in response to warnings of Iraqi WMDs.

The approach varies, but all basically say that the Bush admin is setting up a deal that has no accountability, that is a huge gift to Bush and friends. Glen Greenwald and I brought up the spineless dem response to Iraq as an earlier example of the same cowed cooperation.

If Obama ever had a shot at showing he really is a force for change, rejecting the Paulson plan is an extraordinary opportunity to again (like he rejected the Iraq war) stand out as an independent thinker, apart from his party. Here is where Barack can play a leadership role. He IS running to be the new leader of the Democratic party. If he tells the leaders in congress they're making a huge mistake, he will be serving the middle class-- the people who Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, Schumer and friends are getting ready to saddle with such enormous debt.

An evening update: I went to a "peace event," and had a few conversations. A few people cited what I was just citing a few days ago, that the powers that be are "socializing debt and losses and privatizing profit." But I've read a bit more, had more conversations and now I realize, it's not socialism. It's fascism. The corporations aren't being taken over by the government. They are infecting the government and taking it over and that, my friends, is Mussolini type fascism, where the corporations run the government.

Here are excerpts from the progressive bloggers:

Glen Greenwald, The complete (though ever-changing) elite consensus over the financial collapse

...the fact that Democrats are on board with this scheme means absolutely nothing. When it comes to things the Bush administration wants, Congressional Democrats don't say "no" to anything. They say "yes" to everything. That's what they're for.

They say "yes" regardless of whether they understand what they're endorsing. They say "yes" regardless of whether they've been told even the most basic facts about what they're being told to endorse. They say "yes" anytime doing so is politically less risky than saying "no," which is essentially always and is certainly the case here. They say "yes" whenever the political establishment -- meaning establishment media outlets and the corporate class that funds them -- wants them to say "yes," which is the case here. And they say "yes" with particular speed and eagerness when told to do so by the Serious Trans-Partisan Republican Experts like Hank Paulson and Ben Bernake (or Mike McConnell and Robert Gates and, before them, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell).

...regardless of whether this nationalization/bailout scheme is "necessary" or makes utilitarian sense, it is a crime of the highest order -- not a "crime" in the legal sense but in a more meaningful sense.

What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism -- where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every year while their reckless gambles are paying off only to then have the Government shift their losses to the citizenry at large once their schemes collapse? We've retroactively created a win-only system where the wealthiest corporations and their shareholders are free to gamble for as long as they win and then force others who have no upside to pay for their losses. Watching Wall St. erupt with an orgy of celebration on Friday after it became clear the Government (i.e., you) would pay for their disaster was literally nauseating, as the very people who wreaked this havoc are now being rewarded.

More amazingly, they're free to walk away without having to disgorge their gains; at worst, they're just "forced" to walk away without any further stake in the gamble. How can these bailouts not at least be categorically conditioned on the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains from those who are responsible?

OpEdNews; WMDs and Financial Meltdown-- RelatedThreats? Related Dem Congress Failure? Rob Kall

The news is abuzz with the reports of the solemn, haggard faces of the leaders of congress when Bush's economic Czars Paulson and Bernanke informed them of the deadly threat of financial meltdown the US, even the world economy faced if something dramatic was not done immediately.

So, of course, they came out, shaking in their boots, telling the nation how awful things were, how close to the abyss we've come.

This sounds far too similar to Bush's surrogates Condeleeza Rice and Colin Powell warning us-- at the UN in congress in 2003-- that Iraq and its WMDs was an imminent threat to the nation and the world. Back then, senators Clinton, Kerry, Edwards and most of the rest of the Democrats spinelessly assented to accept the story they were told, failed to challenge the data or demand other options, and now, they all apologize to us.

It's not too late this time. We have no good reason to believe that Bush economic appointees will do any better dealing with a financial crisis than Bush diplomatic and military appointees did with the "terrorist threat."

Now, we face the financial/economic meltdown "threat."

Firedoglake, Rape of the Supine Nation


TalkingPointsMemo Put on the Brakes Josh Marshall

I'm quite convinced that some drastic action needs to be taken to avoid a cascading and debilitating series of crises. But the more I look at this plan, the more wrongheaded it seems. But if I'm understanding this deal, the taxpayers are going to pony up close to a trillion dollars to take bad debts off the hands of financial institutions who were foolish enough to make the deals in the first place.

I can't seem to find any of the people who I respect thinking the bailout plan, as presented, is a good idea.

Paul Krugman No deal ,

...there’s no quid pro quo here — nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving.

I hope I’m wrong about this. But let me say it again: Treasury needs to explain why this is supposed to work — not try to panic Congress into giving it a blank check. Otherwise, no deal.


... this brand of stupid led to both the Great Depression and the Savings & Loan scandals.


Though it fits with the Republican strategy of only having government spend money on things that fail in every respect besides lining the pockets of the wealthy, while Democrats equivocate but then hurry to indulge the kleptocrats.

the Nation; Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle by William Greider:

If Wall Street gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public--all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims. My advice to Washington politicians: Stop, take a deep breath and examine what you are being told to do by so-called "responsible opinion." If this deal succeeds, I predict it will become a transforming event in American politics--exposing the deep deformities in our democracy and launching a tidal wave of righteous anger and popular rebellion. As I have been saying for several months, this crisis has the potential to bring down one or both political parties, take your choice.

Dailykos : ACTION REQUIRED: Executive Power Grab in Banking Bail Out Bill by Larry Madill

...I have been totally in favor of a bail out rescue plan for our financial markets. I've said and will continue to say that it is a necessary evil to keep the U.S. from collapsing into a Second Depression. ...BUT, as NPR's Adam Davidson points out in his new Planet Money Blog, this bill also appears to constitute the greatest transfer of political power from the Congressional to the Executives Branches ... Possibly ever.

Atrios: What To Do

Obviously the administration proposal, whatever the need for some sort of government intervention, is basically insane and no lawmakers should support it. The question is how do we do anything about it? Social Security was an easier battle because it was about making it radioactive for lawmakers to do anything but say "Hell no." This is a bit trickier.

Huffingtonpost THROW Them Out Don't Bail Them Out Dave Johnson

I say THROW the system out and start building one that WORKS for US, don't bail the failed, corrupt system out. A bailout just keeps in place a bad system that has bankrupted all of us in order to enrich a very, very few.

Mediachannel's Danny Schecter: Our Financial 9/11: Can They Save the System?

If you think you can trust this Administration to solve this crisis when it has created so many others, think again. Unfortunately neither political party seems to have a clear take on what is happening or any plan to solve it.

So strap in, we are in for volatile rollercoaster ride.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. When we were sliding into the Iraq disaster, millions of people KNEW it was based on bogus information and was a horrible idea. The Dems in congress didn't listen. Don't let that happen again. Call them and tell them.


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